Category: books

i heart books

“…books have been my classroom and my confidant. books have widen my horizons. books have comforted me in my hardest times. books have changed my life.” po bronson’s love of books from “what should i do with my life?

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no one you love is ever truly lost

it’s been a long long while since i’ve felt any heartache or tears while reading a book but paula mclain’s “the paris wife” did it for me. there’s something very heartbreakingly moving about remaining dignified and having the courage to let go of a relationship when the core that once held it together is falling apart. with hadley richardson (hemingway’s first wife) as the voice of the story, the book cast a whole new light on ernest hemingway and his wife hadley, just like how reading the biography of f.scott fitzgerald changed how i felt about the great author of “the great gatsby”.

it was a great read. impossible to put down once their life starts in paris and sometimes difficult to continue reading because of the betrayal that is to come.

i’ve also just realized i have finished reading 6 books since mid october and i am afraid i’m running out of books that are not related to personal development to read. maybe this is the time to visit the public library or download free e-books. speaking of e-books, after finishing “black beauty” on ibooks, i realized the pleasure of reading is diminished when reading a story on a electronic device. it just takes the quaintness out of the activity and i’m not sure if it’s something i can overcome. there’s something really charming and joyous about holding a book, flipping it pages, running your fingers over the printed words, examining the front and back cover, reading the reviews and acclaims or even something as mundane as putting a bookmark between the pages.

can’t help but wonder what will happen to books 5 years from now. hopefully, they would still be around.

wordpress encourages writing

i love all the quotes that wordpress populates every time you successfully finished an entry post. i don’t think any other blogging platform encourages writing the way wordpress do.

the quote i just saw made me smile:-

“To send a letter is a good way to go somewhere without moving anything but your heart.” Phyllis Theroux

how beautiful is that? there is something so quaint and romantic about letter writing that i purchased “84, charing cross road”  online after learning that it was a book about 2 book-loving pen pals. i can’t wait to receive it in the mail!

when everything comes together

life is sometimes more than just a series of coincidences. i’ve always believed that it’s the universe acknowledgement of or its agreement with your thoughts if you came across something that you have been thinking about in your mind for a while. when that happened, i can feel the bulb in my head light up.  or it could be the universe trying to send you a message if you find yourself repeatedly bumping into the item or person more than once in a week.

on books…

i believe i’ve came across james joyce’s masterpiece “ulysses”  at some point in my reading life but i’ve never made the effort to read or remember the classic. it was never a book that was on my mind but for some strange reason, this book was mentioned 3 times in the different things i read during the week. i first saw it in leona lo’s biography “from leonard to leona” – she mentioned that it was james joyce’s stream of consciousness writing techniques that urged him to make the full switch to a female. i saw it again when i signed up for a local book club online – it’s a group where people meet up to discuss on the books suggested as their monthly reads – and “ulysses” was listed as one of the books to read a few weeks back. as if this 2 incidents wasn’t enough, i saw it again (!!) when i was scrolling mindlessly through my twitter feeds – the economist ran an article on 16 Jun (being Bloomsday – the day in which everything happened in the book) on why everybody should make time to read “ulysses”. i’m not sure why i had the luck of reading an article published in june 2012 in august – someone must have re-tweeted it.

i’ve marked this as one of the books to read this year.

on travels…

was at starbucks on thursday grabbing dinner before gym and picked up july’s herworld from the shelves for some entertainment. came across an article on travel getaways to all that places i’ve been wanting to go for the longest time. not only that, it wrote about something which i’ve been wondering for a while. i’ve all these grand travel plans but hardly any travel buddies. was wondering for a while, aside from traveling as a backpacker, is there a platform for me to find traveling buddies and the article recommended “stiletto’s travel“. am happy that such a thing exist! even happier that one of the founder is an accountant, like me!

on rest and writing…

a good friend recently gifted me with this book “power in rest“. of course, the author’s definition of rest is a little bit different from mine but i still let out a squeal of delight when i got the book because i’ve been trying to plan for my sabbatical. this dream is take a break and travel is almost 8 years old. just like many of the things i wanted to do in life, i never got around to seriously planning for it until recently. his intention of giving this book was to share with me his friend’s journey in getting the book published and that i will be inspired to do the same for myself. i’m not a novelist and i can’t tell a story to save my life neither do i know anything well enough to write a book about it. what i do have are the handwritten thoughts that i have given away to people. why anyone else would want to buy my thoughts is beyond me. publishing a book it’s one of the to-dos that have really fallen down on my long list of priorities because people who think i write well or am capable of writing well obviously have not read enough. ha-ha. having said that, i cannot deny that writing a book is a nice idea for the matt cutt inspired 30 day challenge.

things are slowly happening. i appreciate seeing roads being paved for my future.

the great american classics

the adventures of huckleberry finn – my first mark twain book and i must say it was a delightful read. i felt my love growing for the boy as i progress through the books even though i find myself constantly worrying about him as he sailed down Mississippi river – i felt like every incident in the book was a near death experience for him but he always managed to weave a story to get himself out of trouble. i love how practical the boy is as compared to  his friend tom sawyer.

reading this book made me wished i had gone on the raft and sailed down river kwai when i visited kachanaburi in late april. i’m definitely going to see the Mississippi river someday and go where huckleberry finn went.

the great gatsby – my first f.scott fitzgerald book. it was a short story and an easy read. i think all readers will like nick carraway and jay gatsby. i read the book with a tinge of sadness because i read fitzgerald’s biography before i started on the book. it saddens me that he was an alcoholic and that he was mostly in a state of drunkenness in the later part of his life. it saddens me to read about the wife’s meltdown. i can’t imagine how difficult those years were and how much of that were reflected in the writings. the movie adaption will be released this christmas and i think they nailed it with tobey maguire as mr carraway. can’t wait!

catch 22

finished joseph heller’s “catch 22” this evening. what a great, dark, comical book. it amazes me that a book written in the 1960s can still be so contemporary in its prose, style and topics. i loved every page of its satire, dark humour and madness. it’s impossible to not fall in love with captain yossarian who seems to be the only level headed person amongst the military chaos.

i think it’s a book one either like or dislike. i admit that i was a bit confused by the numerous characters that came and went throughout the book and was sometimes annoyed by how repetitive some paragraphs were but i think it kind of sums up the sentiments of a war – confusion and frustration! overall, it’s a great read. it’s humour perfectly timed and deadpanned. every page increased my admiration for joseph heller’s wisdom, humour and intellect.

gosh, i would love to read it again.

yossarian lives!

the memory keeper’s daughter

i always feel that a writer has succeeded in telling a story when you find yourself thinking about the characters even after you have finished the book.

john irving did it for me with garp from “the world according to garp” and now kim edwards has done with for me with david henry in “the memory keeper’s daughter.” before i started the book, i thought i’d feel sorry for the people whom secrets were kept from for half a century. in the end, it was the withholder of truths that filled my heart with sadness and longing; paul and phoebe warmed my heart in the final pages of the book. surprisingly, and i’m not sure if it was intended to be this way, i did not feel as much for norah henry.

still thinking of them even though i’ve started on my 5th book for the year. i have a feeling i’m going to remember yossarian fondly too. here’s hoping the awesomeness of chapter one in “catch 22” will continue throughout the book!